A while back I realized I think of the taste of a beer in terms of a frequency response curve, and that I am not the only one capable of such audio-geekiness when it comes to beer. In pursuing this further, I decided to use a simple a five-band “graphic EQ” model which, in audio, would represent lows, low-mids, mids, high-mids, and highs. In beer, here’s how different flavors and descriptors map out for me:
LOWS – body, stout, espresso; earthiness, fullness
LOW-MIDS – malt, berries; richness
The EQ curve of Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA.
MIDS – toasted hops, fruit; presence
HIGH-MIDS – bitter hops, grass, herbs; edge, brightness
HIGHS – citrus; crispness
I decided I’d choose a number from 1 to 5 to represent the level of each of these “taste bands” relative to my general experience with beer. Here’s the latest: The frequency response of a Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA…
I think a picture can be more precise and revealing, so I grabbed a post-it and drew this as a frequency response curve. Anyone else have anything to say about this? Aside from calling me nuts?
One observation: I’m beginning to feel that the lows generally map to the back of the tongue, and the highs map to the very front. I’m not yet sure if it’s linear and straightforward, though, or if there’s more to it than that. Another observation: I don’t think of most foods this way, but it seems to make sense more with beverages than with food, which strikes me as odd. But also more likely with very flavorful food than with bland food, which seems to make sense.